Annoying octal notation
Erik Max Francis
max at alcyone.com
Tue Aug 25 05:20:21 CEST 2009
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> On Mon, 24 Aug 2009 09:14:25 -0500, Derek Martin wrote:
>> Assuming I'm right about that, then the use of a leading 0 to represent
>> octal actually predates the prevalence of using 0 in dates by almost two
>> decades. And while using leading zeros in other contexts is "familiar"
>> to me, I would certainly not consider it "common" by any means. Thus I
>> think it's fair to say that when this syntax was selected, it was a
>> rather good choice.
> Except of course to anyone familiar with mathematics in the last, oh,
> five hundred years or so. Mathematics has used a positional system for
> numbers for centuries now: leading zeroes have been insignificant, just
> like trailing zeroes after the decimal point:
> 9 = 09 = 009 = 9.0 = 9.00 = 0009.000 etc.
Trailing zeroes are quite important when you're indicating the
significance of a figure. 9 is not the same as 9.0 or 9.000.
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